New advanced prostate cancer drug, cabazitaxel

Dr Sarah Cant, Head of Policy and Campaigns at The Prostate Cancer Charity, explains: "The results of this trial of cabazitaxel are an important step along the journey towards expanding the treatments available for men who are living with an advanced form of the disease that has stopped responding to the existing, limited methods of controlling its progression.

"Whilst clearly an important development, there are still some significant hurdles that the drug will need to overcome before it can be recommended and made available to men living with advanced disease in the UK. At the moment doctors cannot prescribe cabazitaxel to treat prostate cancer as it is yet to be licensed for use in Europe.

"The research shows that cabazitaxel is effective in increasing the amount of time men with this type of advanced prostate cancer can live by an average of 2.4 months, as well as delaying the spread of the disease. However, as the researchers themselves acknowledge, men taking cabazitaxel as part of this study had a greater risk of significant side effects, and the impact the treatment has on a man's quality of life during those extra weeks is currently being investigated. We hope this information will be made available as soon as possible and that NICE* will use this and the clinical data to swiftly appraise the drug's benefits over the next year so that clinicians in the UK are given clear guidelines on its recommended uses at the same time as the drug is licensed.

"We commend the researchers for addressing an issue of critical need in advanced prostate cancer treatment, where the options available to men are in short supply. There is, however, still a way to go before men with this type of disease will have access to cabazitaxel. In the meantime, we would encourage any man affected by prostate cancer who has a question about his treatment options to speak to his doctor," Dr Cant added.